Diagnostic Inquiry Assessment:
Do you have role models? People you look up to? Someone you want to be like? Someone you envy?
Do you ever hate that you aren’t doing better? Getting stronger? Progressing faster?
Do you sort of like Christianity, but definitely prefer the version where God’s people triumph as soon as possible? You like them dollas, and you funna be straight loaded?
Are you single, and looking to not be single? Is your singleness due to a pathetic lack of understanding in regards to how someone of your sex should operate in the world? Are you awkward, and certain that your awkwardness is due to a low-level of spirituality?
You are on your way, if not already, a theologian of glory. It doesn’t really matter how you answered these questions, even if you said no, in a sense you would be aiming at the projected image of yourself and evaluating your accomplishments. So congratulations!
Okay, I’m a theologian of glory, but how do I become a better one?
That is precisely the right question. Well done. Give yourself a round of applause.
Now you will discover how to continue asserting a more glorious version of yourself to the universe.
1. Make your aim even bigger.
Okay, it’s great that your friends at work know how devout and hard-working you are, but why stop there? True theologians of glory contort the entire universe to highlight their brilliance. Is that person over there quietly minding their own business? They are a perfect person to dupe into a conversation about your struggles to become a better you. Go ahead. Talk to them. Ask them a few questions about their life, biding your time, baiting them to reciprocate the inquiries then BAM! Unload on them with explanations of how you accomplished what you have accomplished. They won’t ever look suspiciously at you again from across the room. In fact, they will probably avert their eyes every time they see you. Heck, they might never talk to you again! Another round of applause.
2. Fix EVERYONE.
Look for the true relationships in your life. The ones where there is a serious sense of honesty and authenticity with the other person. Imagine that relationship itself to be a small, delicate piece of China. A plate. Now pick up that plate, walk outside, find a brick wall, and smash that plate. That’s right. Destroy the plate.
T of Gs have to shit on every close relationship. We don’t exactly know why this is, but it is definitely true. It might have something to do with simply allowing other things to exist that might take the focus off of ourselves.
3. Give tons of fake compliments
People are on their own road to obtain glory. As fellow seekers of glory, we should be able to empathize. But, lest we expose spiritual inferiority, always empathize with a fake smile. A true smile might indicate we have given up striving desperately for good favor and have learned to have a sense of humor about ourselves. Strive for a point in your relationships where nobody ever feels loved or affirmed around you. [ProTip: follow up an inauthentic compliment with a “challenge.” Empathy+Guilt Inducement=True T of G. You are starting to get it, aren’t you?]
The One Obstacle (Watch Out!)
Failure. Honestly, we don’t want to talk about it. If we were better theologians of glory, we wouldn’t.
Failure is the moments in our life where our glory theology quits working. These moments are bad. There a few ways that a T of G can deal with moments of failure. But once failure comes, our whole theology is pretty much in the shitter. Damn.
Sometimes failure is when we are mocked.
Sometimes failure is when we embarrass ourselves.
And sometimes failure is complete and total exasperation. The world, when we give it a sober look, encourages people to strive for their own glory, but then it strips our glory away in the same breath. This is exhausting, and sometimes we just get perplexed by the whole endeavor.
But usually, for a T of G, moments of failure come when we are trying to look cool and someone pulls a fast one and we are exposed to be just as silly as the rest of the world. [Sidenote: Watch out for guys who drive trucks. A bonafide T of G won’t trust any of them.]
Now. We know it’s not a usual Theologian of Glory thing to do, but we are going to give a quick glance at one sobering group that threatens our entire enterprise. [An actual Theologian of Glory would skip the next part. But they would have probably skipped the whole failure part, too. Stay positive and delusional, we always say.]
Even worse than failure. . .
Are those pesky theologians of the cross. They call a thing what it is. They take failure to a whole new level. They look at Christ’s death on a cross, and claim that it’s better to trust God’s promise to bring us to life as opposed to simply reaching out into the abyss and grabbing for our own fleeting glory. Yes, we will never get it, but it’s much better than trusting that someone else – someone more powerful and glorious(!) than me – has already secured it for me.
Don’t trust the theologians of the cross. Don’t trust God’s promise. Trust yourself and your hard work, and you, too, can be a theologian of glory!